2020 welcomes both a new decade and the sparkling 31st edition of the Alliance Française French Film Festival.
In keeping with such a momentous year, this beloved event will once again unveil a thrilling selection of contemporary French cinema, guaranteed to captivate and stimulate audiences around the country.
Presented by the Alliance Française in association with the Embassy of France in Australia and Unifrance Films, the 2020 season will screen at Palace Cinemas (Cinema Paradiso) and Luna Palace Cinemas (Windsor Cinema and Luna on SX) from 11 March until 8 April.
Celebrating his 4th year as Artistic Director, Philippe Platel, has spent the past 12 months reviewing hundreds of films in order to select the superlative array of 49 features and documentaries, along with 2 thrilling television shows, that form this year’s programme - many of which will be screening in Australia for the first time.
Showcased via 9 distinct categories with expressively piquant headings such as 'Eternal Odyssey,' 'Intense & Unsettling,' 'The Voice of the Countryside', 'Magnetic Love,' and 'City of Lights,' the 2020 line-up has a strong emphasis on social engagement and altruistic endeavours.
These qualities are depicted in films such as the multi-award-winning Les Misérables, Ladj Ly's searing snapshot of corruption and simmering tensions in modern-day Paris; School Life, a comedy/drama set within a Saint Denis high school; Invisibles, which follows the unorthodox antics taken by an illegal women's shelter to avoid closure; Oh Mercy!, a darkly compelling exposé of the human condition as observed by a police chief in Northern France; the poignant rural drama, In the Name of the Land, starring Guillaume Canet as a farmer battling to maintain his dignity in the face of incessant setbacks, and many more extraordinary films.
High on the list of 2020 highlights is the international premiere of director Martin Provost's How to Be a Good Wife. Set at a time when women were still expected to be largely subservient, this delicious comedy stars the luminous Juliette Binoche as the pristine head of a housekeeping school who, when faced with adversity, takes her first steps towards emancipation.
There's also the hotly anticipated La Belle Époque, which tells the story of Victor (Daniel Auteuil) a disillusioned man who is given the opportunity to relive the great love-affair of his youth, and the whimsically romantic Notre-Dame - shot before last year’s horrific fire - about an architect who wins a competition to redesign the Notre-Dame esplanade; a movie which, given events of the past year, is now considered visionary.
And in celebration of its 50th anniversary, the Festival will present a restored version of, Donkey Skin, a luscious fairy-tale musical from legendary New-Wave director Jacques Demy, featuring a soundtrack by Michel Legrand and starring the eternal Catherine Deneuve who headlines four films in this year's programme.
The Alliance Française French Film Festival screens at Palace Cinemas Raine Square (Perth CBD) and Cinema Paradiso (Northbridge) and Luna Palace Cinemas Windsor (Nedlands) and Luna on SX (Fremantle) from 11 March – 8 April.